The second week of January is alway pretty quiet in this part of the country. Everyone is solidly back in the daily grind after the holiday season.
The bulk and the brunt of winter are still ahead, which can be a daunting thought. A small percentage of Minnesotans actually enjoy going outdoors in the bitter January air. We all like to brag about being hearty souls, but honestly, most of us merely survive the winter — relatively few embrace it. .
If you venture out in single-digit “high” temps, you might see a runner on Minnehaha Parkway, a cross-country skier on Hiawatha Golf Course, and increasingly over the past few years, grown, intelligent-looking men and women riding bicycles with big fat tires on the snow and ice.
Seemingly every time I shovel the front sidewalk, the ever-chipper neighbor walking her dog with its little boots comes by and says something about what a nice day it is. Not to be argumentative, I find my self mumbling a semi-agreement. It works for a moment, long enough anyway to remember the bigger picture, that life really is pretty darn good right now. One day, I even found myself thinking (for a split second), “I’m thankful I can still shovel snow”.
Being retired brings other, more predictable, moments of gratefulness. We had a mild snow storm earlier this week and a voice on the radio said the usual, “There have been hundreds of accidents on Twin Cities roads already this morning. If you don’t have to go anywhere today, stay home”. I did, and I liked it a lot.
I’ve managed to keep my photo-a-day resolution going for two weeks. According to a survey by a site called StatisticBrain.com, 68.4% of those who make a new year’s resolution keep it going for the first two weeks. I thought that percentage would be lower, but I’ll take it. I’m already ahead of 31.6% of the resolution-makers!
With my back still stinging from that self-pat, here is one photo from each day of week two. You’ll that see I did manage to get my butt outside a few times. And OK. . . .yes, it was a good thing.